Wildlife Refuge goes wild Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 5, 2010

The Friends of St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge believe that children hold the key to our future and conservation of wildlife and habitat is essential to maintain a healthy planet.

As part of our mission, we want to reconnect children with nature. We want them to be passionate about the outdoors. We want children to have the opportunity to learn more about the land that surrounds them and what impact they have on it.

Our ultimate goal is to build an education program with a building and staff on the refuge.

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To continue toward that goal, we have developed Wild Things, an environmental education festival. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Steckler Multi-Purpose Building behind Natchez High School. It is free to the public.

Planned attractions and sessions include a black bear obstacle course for children, plant and animal identification, bird identification techniques, endangered species, water quality, conservation law enforcement, a youth long-bow archery tournament (bows, arrows and instruction provided), forestry, pine cone bird feeders, Native American crafts and much more.

We will also feature the Mississippi Department of Transportation vehicle rollover simulation from 10:30 to 11 a.m., and we encourage teenage drivers to attend these sessions.

Fundraising for the event will be in the form of a silent auction, which ends at 4 p.m., a bake sale, food sales, T-shirt sales and cookbook sales.

Just a few of the silent auction items we will have include lamps, candles, golf lessons, two rounds of golf, gift certificates for local restaurants, free oil changes, a night’s stay at the Natchez Grand Hotel and more.

We will also raffle a Bad Boy Buggy at 4 p.m. Tickets will be on sale during the event.

The winner does not have to be present to win, but will be responsible for pickup and transportation.

We invite everyone, both children and adults, to join us for this fun-filled day of learning.

For more information on this event or to join our group, call me at 601-442-6696.

Pete Smith is a member of the Friends of St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge.